Let’s face it, we all enjoy getting new stuff. Whether you bought it yourself or received it as a gift, it is one of the most enjoyable experiences, and scientifically proven as well. From buying a new car, gadget, or even something as insignificant as a new pen set. While purchasing a car may be few and far between, the purchase of a new sneaker is something a lot more frequent for a lot more people. And if you’re anything like me, and many others, unboxing and fitting on your new kicks, complete with new shoe smell, is one of the simple pleasures in life.
The Puma Ignite evoKNIT Fade looks great from the offset. After spending the best part of a week strutting around town, we take a closer look at the Fade.
Design and Comfort
The Ignite evoKNIT Fade follows from the 2016-released Ignite evoKNIT, and introduces a few new colourways, and most notably the faded pattern on the midsole, with a redesigned Chevron flex grooves for increased comfort.
The knitted or woven sneaker with sock-lined technology is all the hype at the moment. And why not, they look great. The Fade is positioned as a direct competitor to adidas’ PrimeKnit and Nike’s Flyknit releases and is a formidable challenger. The fade features Puma’s evoKNIT technology across the entire upper, which has the additional benefit of making it ultra-lightweight and flexible at the same time. Initially, my concern was the sock design would be loose in comparison to standard sneaker designs, but the Fade was surprisingly snug. This tight fit was as a result of the density of the woven material, along with the collared sleeve and supporting strap, making it great as a performance shoe.
The Fade also has the EVA foam-injected midsole, which can be found in most of Puma’s running shoes. Given that Puma is first and foremost a performance brand, the Fade fits the bill. The EVA foam has a dual purpose in that it provides comfort and less impact while adapting to the wearers’ natural gait. As with many performance shoes, the heel is somewhat thicker than the midsole, which provides better rebound and energy return during each stride. Even as a daily driver, the Fade is extremely comfortable, which is obvious given its lightweight design, and almost inaudible sounds with each step. With many of today’s sneakers judged as dual-function performance sneakers known as “athleisure”, the Fade ticks all the right boxes.
Performance and Quality
After a few days of leisurely strolls, with the occasional jog, I can say with certainty that the Fade performs well as a performance shoe, and looks good while you’re doing it, making it an easy choice for a night out. At no point did I feel as if the material would not be strong enough to hold, and felt confident enough to tackle anything that was thrown at me. Or at least, the Fade did. Despite its knitted finish, the shoe isn’t susceptible to moisture as much as you’d think. In fact, it performs just as well as any other sneaker I’ve worn (apart from the purpose-built Puma K1). The EverTrack+ outsole with its rubberised finish makes it super grippy as well and handles all surfaces with ease.
The Fade was designed first and foremost as a performance shoe, and it delivers. It isn’t the best performing shoe I’ve ever owned, but the Fade far outweighs it in terms of design and quality. The Fade is leaps and bounds ahead of any shoe I’ve owned previously when it comes to build quality, and that alone means you don’t have to worry how it will handle any activity or terrain you put it through. Often times, the sock-lined design does make it feel as if you’re wearing nothing but a sock, and that only reiterates the notion of the quality and lightweight design. The shoe fits quite a lot into a sleek-looking silhouette, while remaining up-to-date with modern trends that will surely please many sneaker aficionados, and fits with any of your outfits, from a pair of jeans to your sports gear.
The Puma Ignite evoKNIT Fade is a great-looking, form-fitting, lightweight sneaker that is sure to turn heads wherever you go. It fits in beautifully with the Run the Streets campaign. You never have to worry about the sneaker keeping up with your lifestyle; simply slip it on and you’re good to go.
The price may be a slight turn-off for most buyers, but Fade goes a long way in delivering upon its cost benchmark. The quality is second-to-none and is worth the price. Sneakers are meant to compliment your daily lifestyle and be able to adapt to any situation or environment you’re in. The Puma Ignite evoKNIT Fade delivers on all that and more.
The Puma Ignite evoKNIT Fade is available for R2,599 from Puma Select stores, Sportscene, The Cross Trainer, Side Step, and other selected retailers.